Members of Parliament (MPs) are undergoing a three-week long training which aims at sharpening their knowledge and enhancing their contributions in the House.
The training for the Second Cohort of the Parliamentary Training Program (PTP) for 2019/2025 started at Malawi Institute of Management in Lilongwe yesterday.
Speaker of Parliament Catherine Gotani Hara said it is imperative that the MPs give their best, deliberate to the highest degree and come up with solutions that are in the best interests of spearheading development and ending poverty in Malawi.
Hara urged the Parliamentarians to take a keen interest in the training and ensure that they acquire the necessary skills and knowledge to be imparted from this training programme.
She noted that the PTP should have taken place in the very first few months of their election into Parliament but it has been delayed by several factors, such as a lack of resources, competing schedules with various other activities and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hara then commended African Institute for Development Policy (AFIDEP) for working hand in hand with their Secretariat in reviewing the entire programme, conducting the needs assessment of Members of Parliament, identification of the relevant courses and Resource Persons.
On his part, Member of Parliament for Neno North Constituency Thoko Tembo said the training is an eye opener to the new Members of Parliament and it will assist them in many ways.
Tembo noted that some Parliamentarians make contributions and also bring an issue in the august house without proper research which is due to lack of training.
Clerk of Parliament Fiona Kalemba said the PTP is the most comprehensive capacity building programme for Honourable Members of Parliament.
“I am well aware, that all Members have been involved in various capacity building trainings and workshops. I wish to, however, say that while these trainings and workshops were essential, none were as long, as detailed and as comprehensive as this PTP,” the Clerk of Parliament said.
Among others, the training will cover various courses including the State and Governance Architecture, Parliamentary Procedures and Practice, Code of Ethics and Conduct for Members of Parliament, Research and Communication skills in Parliament, Communication Skills for Parliamentarians and National Economy and Policy Analysis with a Focus on Finance, National Budget and the Role of the National Planning Commission.
The training has targeted all Members of Parliament except Ministers, Deputy Ministers and Presiding Officers (The Speaker and two Deputy Speakers) and has been divided into 4 cohorts.
Since 1994, Parliament of Malawi has conducted the TPT for all cohorts. Previously, the training was being facilitated by the University of Malawi, Chancellor College in Zomba.